Thanks largely to Don McLean, there are young fools and old mopes who will morbidly insist that on February 3, 1959 "the music died." No, not if you consider that the greatest rockers, The Beatles, had yet to hit the airwaves. Not if your tastes in music include anything from the 60's onward, or jazz from the 20's or classical music from the 19th Century.
A snickering disc jockey died. A somewhat greasy and porcine Latino, too. And a hiccuping Texan. While they were all entertaining, and some of their work is star quality, they weren't the only stars on the charts in the late 50's. It was a shocking, tragic incident and there haven't been many air disasters where three well-known people were aboard. But it wasn't the fucking end of music as we know it. Christ, even greasy bop, dance and novelty would continue with plenty of great performers. Just look at the Billboard charts for 1960 and have a reality check. You'll find plenty of catchy and near-genius stuff on the charts after these three died.
And you'll find, in the download link below, a little bad-taste fun with a tune that mockingly mimics just how unimpressive some of that trio's music is to most people.
Had they lived, chances are that "Big Bopper" J. P. Robertson [sic...note comment below] would be dead by now, and largely forgotten. Without the added aura of early death, his cackling, leering and vaguely pedo-esque one-hit-wonder "Chantilly Lace" might only be anthologized as much as "Babalu's Wedding Day" (by the non-eternal The Eternals) or "Baby Don't Forget My Number" by the forgettable Milli Vanilli. Odds are he wouldn't have had another novelty hit, any more than Sheb Wooley ("Purple People Eater") or Larry Verne ("Mister Custer").
As for Ritchie Valens (nee Valenzuela), if he was still around, he'd be like Chubby Checker. He'd be appearing at oldies shows to sing his ONE hit. Chubby had "The Twist" and Valens had "La Bamba," and IF YOU'RE BEING HONEST, that song is as big a piece of drivel as a soggy, dripping burrito. Listening to Valens babbling "La Bamba" is probably no different from what guys with stomach aches yowl in the bathroom of a Taco Bell.
That leaves the hiccuping genius Buddy Holly. Del Shannon and Roy Orbison had vivid hits but then played the 70's and 80's getting sick in too-cold or over-heated little clubs. They sang the same fucking songs to a small circle of aging fans till they were ready to have a heart attack or commit suicide. Do you doubt Buddy Holly would've had a similar fate. He would've sung "Peggy Sue" till he dropped of slightly more natural causes than a plane crash. At best, he'd be like Chuck Berry, who hasn't written a decent song on 40 years and tours places you never heard of.
To all the morons who whined, "the music DIED," here's two words for you: Bob Dylan. He came after "the music DIED." Another two words? "The Beatles." Another two words? "Martin Briley." Oh, pick any two words. Including "the old two word suggestion," as Art Garfunkel once called it.
And now, the "mean" bit of satire called "Bad Hopper, Hiccups and Havana."
It's an outtake from Wilderness Road (another "two words" for you). This brilliant, under-appreciated Chicago group could rival The Band (first album on Columbia) or offer a blend of rock and iconoclastic smugness that might impress a Zappa fan (their second album on Warner Bros.)
As you'll hear, they mercilessly dispatch all three deceased artistes for what they actually were: creepy, hiccupy and greasy. Usually parodists roast their their victims alive (Bob Dylan, Jagger, Baez, Neil Young, Kate Bush, Lennon, Paul Simon are all lampooned on this blog via amusing novelties). Is it cowardly that the band attacks these dead guys? Actually, they are attacking the fans more than the guys. The guys are all ok. Fans who worship them and get all spooky-somber about the crash need to lighten up a bit. I mean, Lennon got killed at that's an equal trauma, but nobody pretentiously calls it "the night the music died."
Needless to say (but it has to be said, because a lot of people are stupid, including browsing bozos who are not regulars to this blog), nobody is laughing or happy that three people (and a pilot) died back in 1959 on a foggy rainy night near Clear Lake, Iowa.
The three singers aboard obviously did have talent that was wasted in that crash. "Donna" by Ritchie Valens was a gentle piece of melancholy, although anybody could've sung it. "Chantilly Lace" IS a unique novelty (which inspired Jayne Mansfield among others to do a variation on it) even if the rest of J.P.'s work (enough to fill an album) isn't too amusing and is pretty repetitive. As for Buddy Holly, he influenced a lot of people. Without the hiccuping, a few of his songs are decent late 50's rock. But how many people skip past the Holly, Berry AND Perkins tracks on those early Beatles albums because they are inferior songs to Lennon-McCartney? Give him credit for "That'll Be the Day" the riffy "Not Fade Away" and "It's So Easy," but Jesus, enough with "Peggy Sue." And understand that Shannon and Orbison wrote just as many classics, if not more, AFTER the music supposedly died.
PS, I rhetorically ask the God-fearing and perpetually sobbing people who feel "the music died" in 1959, why Waylon Jennings was spared. Did God think more highly of Waylon Jennings than the other three. He's a fuckin' country music fan? God knew that if Waylone was spared, music fans would get "I'm A Ramblin' Man," "I've Always Been Crazy" and the theme for the "Dukes of Hazzard" TV show???
How would the world have been different if Waylon died in 1959 and "The Big Bopper" lived to 2002 (the year God chose to end Waylon's life)?
This blog asks the tough questions. You sure can't turn to Zinhof for this kind of literate shit and provocative music discussion. All you get is a regurgitation of stolen Neil Young albums over and over, with an annoying "password" you have to type in. Right, steal from somebody who stole the music, and make sure to add your name as the "password" to give yourself credit. Credit for what, exactly? WHAT a player in the music world, what a rock scholar, that guy.
You'll notice a bonus track below.
It's a reliable dead baby joke.
Who likes babies? "They are here to REPLACE YOU," noted Mr. Seinfeld. They are noisy, smelly, stupid, and often come out of a Kardashian kunt. So here's a fake commercial for something better than "bronzed baby shoes."